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19 July 2017, 12:30 | Katrina Lee
Illinois finally has budget in place, but school funding for 2017-18 still uncertain
Rauner has said he would use his amendatory veto authority to take out money that would go to Chicago Public Schools teacher pensions.
Flanked by Central Illinois Republican lawmakers, Rauner said he could not support the bill the General Assembly approved in May and he vowed to use his amendatory veto power to change it. Rauner objects to what he described as a "poison pill" provision that would require the state to pick up the employer's portion of teacher pensions costs for the Chicago Public School District, something the state does for all other school districts.
Rauner maintains the amendatory veto would provide more money for all school districts. The could jeopardize schools' opening, but Rauner says schools will open on time.
Emanuel has said Chicago schools will open September 5 as scheduled - regardless of what Rauner does.
That means more money for nearly every one of Illinois' 850 school districts - except CPS, which would lose more than $145 million compared to what it would get under SB1's current form, according to calculations from the governor's office. The governor says he wants to pull CPS pension funding from the legislation and instead spread that money across other districts statewide. But the legislation requires approval of a new, "evidence-based" funding formula to distribute the money.
He asked both Democratic Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton to send him the legislation so that he could amend it as he sees fit. Rauner warned that if the bill doesn't get to his desk soon, schools may not open as scheduled in the fall.
A spokesman for Cullerton said Monday that discussions are "ongoing" about when to send Rauner the bill. With 67 Democrats in the House, Madigan would need four Republicans to override Rauner.
"Rauner put his re-election campaign ahead of Illinois' students", DGA Illinois communications director Sam Salustro said.
In a profession where underhandedness is far too common, Matthew Besler is that rare politician you can trust, Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) said in a press release praising the choice of Besler as chief strategic at Citizens for Rauner. "I am saddened and discouraged by his display today".
"We have a chance to make history and adopt a new school funding plan that, for the first time, ensures all school districts in IL are equitably and adequately funded", Rauner said in a statement.
IL has its belated 2017 budget in place after two years but there is no public school funding included.
Patterson said it was necessary "to allow cooler heads to prevail" after Rauner announced his opposition.
At issue is the way the bill factors CPS' finances into what would become the new statewide funding formula.
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